If you don't know what a tweet is or you do but don't participate in the normal Twitterverse avalanche on any given day, how tweet it will be to have your tweet seen by as many as 103,000 fans in Ohio State's storied football stadium this Saturday, when the battling Buckeye football team, who went undefeated last year under their new coach Urban Meyer, welcomes the Buffalo Bulls to central Ohio for the 2013 season opener.
At a media event held at the stadium for reporters Tuesday, OSU media officials announced changes nearly one million guests who visit Ohio State's campus and Greater Columbus over the seven-game home schedule will notice. Highlights this year include improving cell phone signal strength, traffic and parking details and continuing the university's significant commitment to sustainability by once again aiming for "Zero Waste" in "The Shoe," the local nickname for Ohio Stadium.
"The university's Department of Public Safety works closely with the Athletics Department to help ensure fans enjoy the game in a safe and secure environment," Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith said.
OSU police chief Paul Denton said the goal of each home game is to keep hundreds of thousands of visitors within the area safe.
This year, OSU is jumping into the Twitterverse by giving stadium fans the opportunity to 'tweet a message' and see it on the stadium ribbon boards. In addition to tweets, fans will now be able to see more replays and, at times, the same replays that television viewers see at home, OSU media officials said in prepared documents.
Don Patko, a 24-year veteran at OSU who is an associate athletic director for facilities and capital projects, said the average waste produced by a stadium full of fans weighs about 16 tons. The battle to become the largest stadium in the country to divert 90 percent of its trash from landfills through recycling and composting continues, officials said, noting that Zero Waste is part of a larger and progressive effort on campus to demonstrate OSU's leadership in sustainability. Facilities managers replaced trash cans with recycling and compost bins last year to reduce landfill materials by 61 percent over the 2012 season.
OSU has partnered with Verizon Wireless, which installed a new distribution network on campus that will deliver Verizon's 4G LTE signal through a network of more than 1,300 small antennas strategically placed around the campus, including nearly 300 at the stadium. Officials said the system will undergo testing phases during the first few home games.